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Oakman Inns acquires seven pubs from Downing LLP after four year growth plan pays off

30 April 2019 by

Oakman Inns has completed the acquisition of seven freehold pubs from private equity firm Downing LLP as it reconsolidates its sites back into the parent business.

The acquisition, which was completed in three tranches, saw the pub company purchase companies Downoak Ltd, Hedderwick Ltd and The Globe in Warwick. The move ensures control of the Akeman, Tring; the Akeman Inn, Kingswood; the Crown & Thistle, Abingdon; Banyers House, Royston and the Cherry Tree in Olney - rests solely with Oakman.

Oakman and Downing began their partnership in 2014 when the pub group comprised seven venues but was struggling to develop further due to "a dysfunctional banking relationship and a shortage of growth capital", according to CEO and founder Peter Borg-Neal. Since then the pub group has grown to 23 sites, achieving sales of £38m up from £10m before the partnership between the two firms.

Borg-Neal added: "Our recently announced deal to buy seven of the freehold pubs we operated for Downing is a transformational one for Oakman. However, while it represents the high point of our relationship with Downing to date, it does not mark the end of it. We still provide support to Apprise Limited, a Downing backed company, and Downing has provided loan capital for our recently acquired freehold in Buckingham. Furthermore, we are exploring fresh ideas to work profitably together in the future."

Steven Kenee, a partner of Downing, added: "I am immensely proud to have been able to help support the impressive growth of Oakman over the past four and a half years. Oakman has always demonstrated a principled approach to their business combined with award-winning staff development programmes, a concern for the environment and a commitment for socially responsible work with the communities they serve.

"This admirable ethos, coupled with a focus on ensuring the highest quality customer experience, has generated industry-leading sales and profitability growth as well as delivering great returns for our investors."

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Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

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